John C. Dvorak, the one-time Apple journalist who has a history of incredibly inane predictions of doom and gloom for the company he used to cover, has completely outdone himself this time by predicting that Apple will drop Mac OS X completely in favor of Windows.
Dvorak still, pathetically, does not get it.
Apple is a hardware company, he says, citing the iPod as an example. Apple could still make its cool hardware, and just fit an “executive layer” over Windows to customize the UI.
I know it’s common wisdom that Apple is a hardware company, but as is so often the case, wisdom is not common, and what’s common is not wisdom.
Apple is an aesthetics company – Apple is a lifestyle company. In a digital age, how do you organize, manage, and accomplish everything you want and need to do? You need a digital solution.
And that is Apple’s niche.
Because the most successful solutions are the simplest solutions, Apple wants to control as much of the hardware and software as is necessary to ensure that the solutions it sells are as simple as they can possibly be.
Apple is Steve Jobs.
And Steve Jobs wants to create wickedly cool widgets that help more people get more things accomplished easier, faster, and more beautifully.
That’s why the iMac is one piece. That’s why the long-cherished one-button mouse. That’s why Apple’s Cinema Displays have been displayed at MOMA. That’s why iTunes and iPod go together, like two peas in a …
That’s the emotional, aesthetic, and passionate side of the argument. It’s also the side of the argument that’s based on who Steve Jobs is and what he really wants, needs, to accomplish.
Now here’s the business side of the argument:
How could any company be so incredibly stupid as to let another company completely control its own destiny? That’s exactly what would happen if Apple built an “executive layer” on top of Windows.
Assume that Apple took leave of its senses and did this. What if, the next month, Microsoft releases a patch that kills the Apple layer? Where would Apple’s customers be? Especially if it was a “top priority” security patch?
Dead in the water, that’s where.
Dvorak might want that kind of solution, but it would so tie Apple to Microsoft – and in a completely slavish way – that Apple would cease to exist as an independent, passionate, innovative company.